It's official today, as news from the team comes down: French midfielder Toumani Diagouraga is your latest Steve Evans/Massimo Cellino signing at Leeds United. "Toums," as he prefers to be called (don't let him hear you call him "Dave"), signs from Brentford for a reported £575,000 and will be ready to play in LUFC's next game: tomorrow against Brentford.
Our friends at Rangers blog Got The Battle Fever On were disappointed to miss out on Diagouraga, as former Brentford boss Mark Warburton wanted the 28-year-old to follow him to Glasgow, but Leeds trumped Rangers offer and sign the lad on a two-and-a-half year contract. A few quotes on why Toums came to Elland Road that will no doubt endear him to the Whites faithful:
It's an interesting move for a team so clearly in need of support at nearly every position besides midfield, but maybe Evans knows something we don't. With Chris Wood returning to help Doukara and Antenucci up top, apparently the rumored move for Kyle Lafferty has taken a back seat? And is Evans really prepared to finish the season with a backline of Taylor-Bellusci-Cooper-Wootton after Bellusci's solid game in defense on Saturday?
We'll see, but the Yorkshire Post's Amitai Winehouse had this thought when the signing was announced...
IMO, Diagouraga allows #LUFC to actually play a 4-2-3-1 with a proper double pivot or as an additional defensive minded option in a 4-3-3— Amitai Winehouse (@awinehouse1) January 25, 2016
And that makes sense. The error-prone back four aside, a 4-2-3-1 with Diagouraga and Bridcutt supplying Carayol, Dallas, and Cook/Mowatt as a CAM could work, but does that mean Cook and Mowatt would platoon? Is one out the door? Mowatt has been ruled out for tomorrow's game with a "dead leg," but you have to wonder if maybe something more is at play there. Surely the team won't sell off another young Leeds player this transfer window, but it does seem to be a congested midfield equation, and we haven't even mentioned Luke Murphy, Tom Adeyemi, or Jordan Botaka yet.
Either way, the addition of a sought-after midfielder and the second of Steve Evans' two signing-date requests has to be considered a good thing for this team. He was voted "player of the year" by Brentford fans last season, we'll see if he gets to feature against them tomorrow night.
Thanks for all the welcoming messages I am looking forward to a new challenge with #lufc can't wait to get started— Toumani diagouraga (@toums20) January 22, 2016
Welcome to Elland Road, Toums. Looking forward to seeing what you can do.
Do you think Diagouraga is a good signing? Who is the odd man out in your midfield? Leave a comment, vote in our poll. Thanks for reading. #MOT